Chris has always been an entrepreneur at heart. In his early teens, he earned his spending money by bootlegging CDs with his side-by-side burner and selling them to classmates. His first internet start-up was at age 15, reselling electronics on Ebay, where, as an early adopter, he had a 4 digit password until Ebay forced him to update in 2015.
After college, Chris helped start various online businesses, including an SEO agency, online real-estate brokerage, and flash sale website before entering the VC-backed high-growth start-up world. There, he honed his skills in mobile product management at RetailMeNot (IPO 2013) before moving on to leadership and executive roles at Mobile Travel Technologies in London (Sold to Travelport in 2015) and Student.com in Shanghai, China.
During a year-long sabbatical in 2016, Chris connected with a friend that had launched a successful Kickstarter campaign and needed help selling on Amazon. He was immediately taken by the opportunity and, after helping his friend, became one of the founding team members of 101 Commerce, the first Amazon aggregator. Through 101 Commerce and another aggregator, Chris helped acquire and operate 10+ FBA businesses, many were bought through Quiet Light.
In 2021, Chris was offered to lead M&A at an up-and-coming aggregator when he reached out to solicit advice from Joe Valley. By the end of that call, Joe had convinced Chris to, instead, join Quiet Light as a business broker. The brightest part of his acquisition experience was working with the entrepreneurs and sharing their joy of accomplishment on closing day. Chris looks forward to sharing that moment many times over from a new perspective.
Q&A With Chris
What is the #1 mistake people make when selling their website?
What drew you to make your career online?
Did you always know that you were going to be an entrepreneur?
What is the greatest benefit of helping people sell their online businesses?
If you could have just one superpower, what would it be?
What is the best bit of advice you ever received?
If you could have dinner with just one person (they don’t have to be living still), who would it be?
I don’t generally write reviews, but it would be ungrateful of me to not tell everyone who wants to listen about my outstanding experience with Chris and Quiet Light. To be clear, no part of me wanted to exit my e-commerce business, but my professional career of 20 years in advertising suddenly took off and I needed to sell. Having spent countless hours listening to the Quiet Light Podcast and modeling my business around Mark’s 4 tenets of the kinds of businesses QLB are willing to sell, I knew I had laid solid foundations. But given the scale and young age of my business, when I reached out directly to Chris my only hope was to get a reply and maybe a recommendation. Looking back, it’s fair to say I was entirely unprepared for the staggering level of passion, professionalism, clear communication and strength of counsel I would receive over the coming weeks.
To me, Chris was like some kind of magician with apparently instant insight into the fundamentals of my business and an ability to cut through the forest and get straight to the river – the place where buyers want to go first to look for gold. He absolutely knew what would be appealing about my business to a buyer and I was suddenly confident that if anyone could sell it, this was my guy.
In our first short call, he quickly identified our strengths and weaknesses and was able to immediately correct my course to improve on a couple of things in the short time we had before going to market. He wanted incoming buyers to have the clearest and most honest overview of the business and its prospects. I really liked that about Chris, pure integrity of this nature is a surprisingly rare commodity.
After providing 2 years of financials and access to my administrative database, Chris and his team worked closely with me to work up an impressive deck for prospective buyers that outlined the opportunity in the clearest of ways. At times I found that even I was gaining insight into my own business.
We jumped on a couple of zoom calls together and did a video Q&A to help buyers with a quick introduction to the business and to me, my reasons for starting and exiting and why I might consider buying a business like this if I were in their position.
And with that, we were finally ready to go to market ..
But the listing never even made it to the QLB website …
On Thursday, Chris sent a targeted email to potential buyers and in the 4 days over the Easter Holiday weekend, Chris managed to bring 4 strong offers to the table for us to review together on Tuesday. After a quick call to discuss the offers, we chose one and we closed. Bank details please!
What an experience, I couldn’t be more grateful and since the sale, Chris has been in touch a number of times and I’ve really enjoyed the follow-up. Further evidence that QLB values relationships beyond transactions. Truly, if you have a business that’s worth selling, your first call should be Chris Duty and the Quiet Light team.
~ Morgan C